UEFA Women’s Champions League: What to watch out for on Matchday 1 | UEFA Women’s Champions League

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Twenty years after the opening matches of the first 2001/02 UEFA Women’s Cup, the successor UEFA Women’s Champions League takes a new step on Tuesday and Wednesday as the new group stage begins.

Playing at home and away through mid-December, and broadcast live worldwide via DAZN / YouTube, the 16 vying clubs will be in the spotlight like never before. UEFA.com picks some of the big matches that kick off the action.

All CET kick-off times

Tuesday, October 5
Group C: Hoffenheim vs HB Køge (6.45 p.m.), Barcelona vs Arsenal (9.00 p.m.)
Group D
: Häcken vs Lyon (6.45 p.m.), Benfica vs Bayern Munich (9.00 p.m.)

Wednesday 6 October
group A: Servette vs Juventus (6.45 p.m.), Chelsea vs Wolfsburg (9.00 p.m.)
Group B: WFC Kharkiv vs Real Madrid (6.45 p.m.), Breidablik vs Paris Saint-Germain (9.00 p.m.)

What to watch out for

Jennifer Beattie celebrates her goal against Barcelona in 2012 with Kim LittleArsenal FC via Getty Images

Champions back where they started
Barcelona first lifted the trophy in May with a 4-0 loss to Chelsea in Gothenburg. It was a long way from their first European game when another London club, Arsenal, won 3-0 at Barcelona and 4-0 at home in the 2012/13 round of 16. Jennifer Beattie, who opened the scoring in that opener at former Mini Estadi, could be involved for the Gunners along with fellow that game veteran Kim Little, though fellow survivor Jordan Nobbs has an ankle injury. . New UEFA Women’s Player of the Year Alexia Putellas and Melanie Serrano both played for Barcelona in that opener as well as last season’s final. Much has changed for them and their club since then, as after a spell most often away from the top European elite, an Arsenal side under Vivianne Miedema are back.


Watch the highlights of Lyon's seven final wins and trophy ceremonies

Watch the highlights of Lyon’s seven final wins and trophy ceremonies

Lyon in unknown territory
The second round match with Levante was the first time that Lyon have played a UEFA Women’s Champions League game other than as defending champion since the 2016 final, more than five years earlier. Their long reign was interrupted by Paris Saint-Germain in the quarter-finals last season but Lyon wasted no time in rebuilding themselves. Former player Sonia Bompastor became a coach at the end of last season and while mainstays Sarah Bouhaddi, Dzsenifer Marozsán and Eugénie Le Sommer were loaned for the fall to the American sister club OL Reign, the new recruits include Daniëlle van de Donk, Damaris Egurrola and – from Paris – Signe Bruun and goalkeeper Christiane Endler. After the return of Griedge Mbock Bathy in defense, Ada Hegerberg is also close to a return after 20 months of absence. BK Häcken are new to the competition but not a new club: they took over Swedish champions Göteborg FC at the start of the year.


Pernille Harder helped Chelsea end their hoodoo against former club Wolfsburg last season

Pernille Harder helped Chelsea end their hoodoo against former club Wolfsburg last seasonChelsea FC via Getty Images

Looks familiar to Chelsea and Wolfsburg
Chelsea’s first three European campaigns, between 2015/16 and 2017/18, were all interrupted at different stages by two-time champion Wolfsburg. However, they got their revenge last spring in the quarter-finals with wins 2-1 and 3-0 in a draw where both matches were played in Budapest and contained a goal from Pernille Harder, who had left Wolfsburg for Chelsea just after the 2020 final. From now on, the ninth meeting of the clubs will make it the most played match in the history of the competition, ahead of Wolfsburg against Lyon (including eight matches including three unique finals). With Chelsea reaching a first final last season and Wolfsburg aiming to put a disappointing campaign behind them under new coach Tommy Stroot, it is a collision between two teams with legitimate ambitions of success in Turin in May. next. However, Wolfsburg will be without key forward Ewa Pajor, who missed a lot during her injury absence last season.

New faces

• It’s a new format and, fittingly, three teams reached the group stage in their very first European entries. Real Madrid, in their second season under that name, beating Manchester City to claim a spot has drawn attention, while the other two debutants face Hoffenheim meeting HB Køge, who was only promoted to the Danish Premier League until 2020 and quickly broke a two-decade Brondby-Fortuna Hjørring duopoly to win the league title


Benfica enters Portuguese history

Benfica enters Portuguese historySL Benfica

• Two other teams make history. Benfica, who only formed a women’s team in 2018, are making their second European appearance but are the first Portuguese team to feature in the last 16 in UEFA women’s club competition. They face Bayern while other defeated semi-finalists Paris last season face Breidablik, the first Icelandic team to play in a major UEFA men’s or women’s club group stage.

Key dates

Group stage
Day 1: October 5/6
Day 2: October 13/14
Day 3: 9/10 November
Day 4: November 17/18
Day 5: December 8/9
Day 6: December 15/16


The Women's Champions League will revolutionize the game

The Women’s Champions League will revolutionize the game

Quarter-finals and semi-finals draw
December 20

Quarter-finals
First leg: March 22/23
Return match: March 30/31

Semi finals
1st leg: 23/24 April
Return match: April 30 / May 1

Final (Juventus Stadium, Turin)
Date to be confirmed


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